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Child Abduction and Forced Marriages

If you are concerned that your child may be (or has been) taken abroad or has been brought to England or Wales without your consent, then you need urgent assistance from a specialist solicitor. 

The experience and expertise of the solicitors in our family law team will help you navigate through the complexities of cross-border negotiations, assisting you in the safe return of your child, and provide you with the vital support that you’ll need throughout the process.

We have successfully helped many parents prevent ex-partners from taking children abroad, and brought about the safe return of a number of abducted children. We also help those who live abroad to recover children unlawfully brought to the UK.

We can help with:

  • Applying for a Court Order to prevent children from being taken abroad
  • Applying for a Court Order to prevent a passport from being issued
  • Alerting the authorities in the UK and abroad
  • Negotiating with foreign law enforcement bodies

We also help parents who live abroad to return children unlawfully brought into England or Wales, as well as represent those who find themselves party to child-abduction proceedings.

We are members of the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit panel of Solicitors specialising in International Child Abduction.

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 sets out the law and procedure to be followed to ensure the prompt return of children abducted from their country of habitual residence.

If you are a parent whose child has been brought to England or Wales from a country which is party to the Hague Convention, we will be able to make an emergency application for legal aid on your behalf. You will be automatically entitled to non-means non-merits tested legal aid if you are the applicant in Hague Convention proceedings.

If you are a respondent in a Hague Convention application made against you, you may be entitled to legal aid if you satisfy the Legal Aid Agency means and merits test.

If you would like to discuss your case, please contact us in confidence without delay.


Forced Marriage

A forced marriage (not to be confused with an arranged marriage) can be defined as a marriage in which someone is at risk of being forced or coerced into marrying someone without consent or against their will. That person may receive physical threats, or indeed be emotionally blackmailed. A forced marriage is a violation of human rights and is not able to be justified on any religious or cultural basis.

There is often only one chance to prevent a vulnerable person from being forced to enter into a marriage against their will, sometimes being taken out of the country to achieve this. It is not, therefore, just the person affected who can and should seek urgent legal advice. If you know of anyone who may be in this position, please call us to discuss the details in the strictest confidence.

If you are a bride or groom being tricked into going abroad or if you feel you are being forced into a marriage by a family member or other influential person, either by blackmail or with violence, or if you know of another vulnerable person in this position, it is vital that you get help as soon as possible. Either contact the police directly or get in touch with one of our experienced and professional family solicitors who will be happy to provide you with the help you need.

Our Child Abduction and Forced Marriage Solicitors are backed by nearly four decades of experience. Our legal practice and team of Family Law Solicitors have a strong track record of achieving favourable client outcomes. For expert legal advice use our contact form or call us on 0808 250 6017 today.